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CDC Launches New Campaign “Reasons/Razones” Encouraging HIV Testing Among Latino Gay & Bisexual Men

CDC Reasons - My FriendsThis month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched REASONS/RAZONES – the newest HIV testing campaign under the CDC Act Against AIDS initiative. The bilingual campaign is the agency’s first national effort to encourage HIV testing among Latino gay and bisexual men, who are among those hardest hit by HIV in the United States.

The campaign asks gay and bisexual Latinos “What’s your reason?/¿Cuál es tu razón?” for getting an HIV test through a series of campaign materials that feature men sharing their reasons for getting tested for HIV. REASONS/RAZONES uses images of family, friends, and partners to emphasize a strong sense of self, family, and community. The campaign also includes information about accessing fast, free, and confidential HIV testing.

The campaign’s bold images and messages will appear in mobile and online advertising, national and local print and outdoor/transit advertising and will be the focus of a media relations effort to generate print and broadcast news stories.

Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority in the United States and also one of the groups most heavily affected by HIV. Latinos account for 16 percent of the population, but 21 percent of all new HIV infections. Latino gay and bisexual men account for nearly almost 1 in 4 new infections among gay and bisexual men of all races.

Yet, too many Latino gay and bisexual men with HIV do not know they are infected. A recent study among gay and bisexual men in 21 American cities found that more than a third (37 percent) of Latinos living with HIV were unaware of their infection. The need for greater testing is particularly urgent among young men. CDC data show that 70 percent of HIV positive Latino gay and bisexual men between the ages of 18 and 24 do not know their status.

REASONS/RAZONES initially launched in Los Angeles on June 6 and will launch in Miami on June 26, two cities with high HIV and AIDS prevalence among Latinos. The Los Angeles community engagement launch event is timed to coincide with Gay Pride, while the event in Miami coincides with National HIV Testing Day. REASONS/RAZONES also had a presence in Washington, D.C. at Capital Pride events on June 7 – June 9. Roll-outs in other cities will follow throughout the summer months.

Please visit http://hivtest.cdc.gov/reasons/ to download all campaign materials, view and share the campaign videos, find a HIV testing center near you and share your reasons for getting an HIV test.

REASONS/RAZONES is a part of Act Against AIDS, the 5-year, multi-faceted national CDC communication initiative designed to refocus attention on HIV and AIDS in the United States. Act Against AIDS focuses on raising HIV awareness among all Americans and reducing the risk of infection among the hardest-hit populations. The multiple campaign phases use mass media (radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, the Internet and other communication channels) to deliver important HIV testing and prevention messages. To learn more about Act Against AIDS, visit http://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/.

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